For the last few months I have been putting it off to write about chemotherapy. It is mainly because writing about it brings up the unpleasant memories of the side effects. I had put everything about chemotherapy in a box, covered the lid, put a pad lock on and pushed it into a far corner of my mind palace.
Perhaps, however, now is the time to open up this curious case of chemotherapy I went through.
The beginning of the case goes all the way back to the first consultation with my oncologist in January 2018.
Dan and I were in the consultation room listening to the doctor on his plan for me. His plan was a little different from what I had heard from my friends; I would receive a milder version of chemotherapy every week, instead of once every three weeks. And there would be another, rather main treatment called Herceptin. It would be injected in my thigh once every three weeks.
The reason I am receiving Herceptin as my main treatment is because I have HER2 and oestrogen positive breast cancer.
For those who are interested in HER2 and Herceptin, I have a brief explanation taken from Cancer Research UK;
Some breast and stomach cancers have large amounts of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2). They are called HER2 positive cancers. HER2 makes the cancer cells grow and divide.
Herceptin is a treatment for cancers that have large amounts of a protein called human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2), such as early breast cancer, advanced breast cancer & advanced stomach cancer
Giving me a list of the potential side effects, my oncologist told me that most patients had not lost their hair with Paclitaxel: the type of chemotherapy I would receive. So I was quite hopeful then…. or optimistic.
In early February I had my first chemotherapy session.
If I am being absolutely honest with you, I was half anxious and half excited about getting chemotherapy. Mainly because I thought it would be a special experience, something new and challenging; and I would be able to relate to more people around me.
I would be able to understand, what it’s like to have gone through chemotherapy.
With those emotions hidden inside me,
I successfully managed the first dose of Paclitaxel. It was far more manageable thanks to Dan sitting next to me for the whole time. The nurses let your partner stay with you on your first chemotherapy session- which I found very helpful.
After receiving the Herceptin & Paclitaxel, I became really tired to the level that I couldn’t even sit up on the sofa. I felt so weak, lethargic and too tired to eat or drink. Interestingly, however, I did not feel any side effect; perhaps because I was already in pain with Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome from egg retrieval.
For the next two weeks, I managed two more sessions of chemotherapy, which marked the first quarter of my chemo journey. Sadly, the “no side effect” trend did not last long.
If you would like to help more people beat cancer sooner, please click this pink ribbon! It will lead you to Cancer Research UK website 🙂
I will see you in my next blog.
Bless you all!